BBC News: Why the cartoon Masyanya was banned in Russia?

© BBC News

Masyanya, the mischievous and witty heroine of an animated series online, is widely popular among Russian speakers. More than a million people are subscribed to the cartoon’s YouTube channel. 

However, the latest episode devoted to the war in Ukraine has brought both praise and threats. Soon after the episode was published, Russian authorities banned it and asked the cartoon’s creator, Oleg Kuvaev, to remove it from his website because it “discredits the Russian Federation’s armed forces”.

The BBC has spoken to Oleg Kuvaev, who emigrated from Russia to Israel years ago and says “there is no way to laugh about the war”.

© BBC News, Video journalist: Anastassia Zlatopolskai

Masyanya on wikipedia

Masyanya on youtube

© Oleg Kuvaev

Information from wikipedia: “At the height of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the series launched episode 160 titled Vakidzasi (Вакидзаси; Wakizashi) on March 22, which was strongly critical of the conflict in Ukraine; the episode had featured graphic images taken from the conflict while also comparing the incumbent president Vladimir Putin and his actions as that of Adolf Hitler’s. In response, Russian media regulation agency Roskomnadzor, after having demanded the creators of Masyanya to pull the episode, had banned the series after accusing the creators for circulating false information about the conflict. Kuvayev, who currently lives in Israel, had circumvented the take down of the original webpage by creating a mirror site, but the authorities continue to threaten Kuvayev that all of his internet resources will be blocked unless the episode was pulled out.”

BBC News